The Gorilla update has been released, featuring Onoses, Jetpacks, a new map called Mineshaft and a bunch of other stuff too! Pre-order this game and play it now! Changes:
What is Natural Selection?
You can now evolve to Onos when your team has three hives.
The Onos can toss marines with his Gore attack, smash structures and Stomp on the ground, sending a shockwave that disables marine structures for 5 seconds. Upgrades are no longer available, sentries stop firing, Infantry Portals stop spawning, etc.
Added Prototype Lab and the ability to research and buy Jetpacks
Added new map: ns2_mineshaft
Added camera animation and display during count down phase.
Name tags now appear over the head of nearby teammates.
Added lines for rally points.
Mines detonate when hit by Stomp.
Added an option to enable mouse acceleration (off by default)
Infestation is now displayed on minimap (dying infestation is indicated red)
Added some missing Marine structure icons.
Reduced Rifle butt range from 1.5 meters to 1 meter (now same as Skulk bite)
Shotgun damage changed to Light (armor is twice as effective against it). Made it lighter to carry and increased the damage to compensate (# of shots vs. base Skulks, Lerks and Fades should unchanged, 1 extra pellet vs. Gorges). So Shotguns should become less effective against heavily armored targets. (thanks Schimmel!)
Bile bomb range and splash increased a lot, damage decreased somewhat and energy cost decreased a little (trying to make Gorge less vulnerable on front lines and also more able to do at least some damage to entrenched Marines). He is NASTY now, watch out.
Increased Hydra health from 500 to 600 and armor from 0 to 75.
Increased Lerk Spike cost from 1.5 to 2.5. Changed distribution of Command Station health and armor so it's more resistent vs. Light damage (ie, Lerk Spikes).
Disabled res for kills to simplify the game, remove confusion about what happens when you make a kill, reduce end-game stalemates with 1 tower and to increase the strategic aspects of the game.
Armory no longer required to drop med packs (unnecessarily restrictive during rushes)
Lowered bile bomb damage from 300 to 225.
Increased repair rate for Marines repairing each others' armor from 18 to 35 (to make it less annoying and to allow Marines to sustain attacks better).
Reverted Fade carapace armor buff from 50 to 30.
Removed Lerk "hide" armor.
Reduced Shotgun research time from 40 to 20 (it was 0 in NS1). Helps Marines get a foothold with early aggression.
Increased minimum egg spawn time from 8 to 10 seconds to less that early Alien assault (now it's the same as Marines)
Lowered infantry portal build time from 10 seconds to 7, and Armory from 15 to 12 (to try to lessen effectiveness of Skulk rush)
Moved warehouse north.
Removed north-east Warehouse entrance.
Opened tram tunnel between Server and Warehouse.
Reworked connecting corridors into Warehouse.
Fixed drifter pathing issues between Server and Control.
Reworked Flight Control and nearby vents
Reworked Sub Access
Added vent between Comp Lab, Sub Access and Maintenance Access
Fixed bug where the Gorge Bile Bomb ability used the Spit ability icon.
Fixed bug where the Gorge Mini Cyst ability used the Hydra ability icon.
Fixed script error if a Hive was destroyed while the Gorge that built it as Commander was a rag doll.
Cleaned up some Client console spam when a Fade blinks.
Fixed script error caused by a spectating player receiving points by getting a kill with a structure placed when they were not a spectator.
Added placeholder icons for the Shell and Veil.
Fixed bug where the game would randomly lockup while placing a Cyst.
Drifter spawn sound effect will no longer play at world origin.
Fixed a bug that prevented Skulks from leaping at maximum speed.
Fixed bug where the physics representations for the Armory and Infantry Portal did not match up with the visual model.
Weapon secondary attacks can no longer occur at the same time as primary attacks while coming out of a sprint in some cases.
Armory buy menu will not instantly appear once construction is completed.
Adjusted Skulk wall walking smoothing rates so that that the 3rd person model rotates more quickly to match the 1st person model (especially while jumping)
Health and Ammo packs can now be dropped directly on top of a Marine player.
Restored reloading of script files when they change on disk.
Fixed Whip 'grenade whack'
Bombard projectiles will not collide with the Whip and nearby friendly structures anymore and is created at the correct attach point.
Alien player names for Hydra kills will no longer appear in blue text in the death message.
Fixed a bug causing Mini Cysts placed by the Gorge to be disconnected when created even in cases where the ghost model indicated the connection was valid.
Fixed bug causing dropped weapons to disappear too quickly if they were picked up and dropped again after initially being dropped.
AI units cannot attack friendly players anymore unless FF is enabled.
Fixed bug causing script error when a Cyst died due to not being connected to a Hive.
Fixed crash when too many objects are visible.
PhysX scene now supports mirrored geometry.
Initial team starting locations chosen with a more random method.
Mine will detect enemies more accurately.
Slime effect during sprinting will not show up in thirdperson anymore.
The ARC will prioritize other structures before Eggs and Cysts.
Player turn poses (arms moving with feet planted on the ground) reset once the player starts moving.
Fixed multi-threading crash when using the o_stats console command.
The "getting ready to spawn" blue spin effect now disappears immediately upon the Infantry Portal being destroyed.
Fixed bug where the Spore cloud would be created improperly when a Lerk was not moving.
Fixed bug where connecting to the localhost would cause the game to go into an infinite loop.
Fixed bug where Marines would spawn above the Infantry Portal platform.
Added "warp" console command to teleport to a position in space when cheats are on, "warp 0 0 0" for example.
Improved Skulk wall walking (sticks better to surfaces, thanks matso!)
Skulks can now leap from mid-air, ala NS1.
The "locate" Client console command will constantly display the local player's location on the screen if "true" is given as a parameter.
Added Mine icon for death messages (Thanks Saba!)
Reformatted Scoreboard so more player names can fit on the screen at the same time.
Server name is now displayed at the top of the Scoreboard.
Improved ScenarioHandler (Thanks Matso!)
Removed Bile Bomb hit sound when Gorge creates a structure.
Optimized network fields in Structure, CloakableMixin, ScriptActor and PowerPoint (thanks Matso!)
Reserve memory for faceSets (prevents excessive allocation)
Reduced networked bandwidth for Camoflauge by eliminating an unnecessary network field (thanks Matso!)
Reduced networked bandwidth for Skulks by eliminating wall walking network variables (thanks Matso!)
Optimized Door auto-opening.
Reduced number of cells CollisionGrid queries look through.
Reduced network bandwidth required to send which fields of an Entity changed (uses indexing scheme when only a few fields changed and a bitmask when many changed)
Reduced network bandwidth usage for entities that have energy.
Reduced bandwidth for transmitting attachment points for entities by 26 bits.
Reduced bandwidth for transmitting angles.
Eliminated lastTimePlayerMoved networked field in Player.
Mines require less processing time to check for nearby enemies.
Reduced bandwidth by 20 bytes per second for each Entity sent to the client.
Changed particle effects to only update if they were visible last frame.
Slightly more aggressive compiler optimization options.
Added Vector:Add method.
Added sphere query to CollisionGrid.
Added EntityQueryManager (fast queries for entities within range, uses CollisionGrid)
Exposed EntityQueryManager to Lua, started converting script to use new API.
Added support to ObjectTagQueryManager for testing whether entity has a specific tag.
Entities get tagged with their class name (and base class names). Tag is prefixed with 'class:'.
Added time network variable type.
Added "private" network fields which are only sent to the client controlling the Entity.
Added support for networking floating point values as fixed point (specified as float (<min> to <max> by <step>)
Added Client.GetServerName() function to return the name of the server the client is connected to.
Added Server.GetName() function to return the name of the server.
Added Server.GetFrameRate() function to return the current tick rate of the server.
Added Mersenne twister Randomizer class to Lua, same API as Lua random functions but better generator.
NS1 (Natural Selection 1) is total modification for 1998 classic first-person shooter, Half-Life. At the height of its popularity, it was the second most played mod for the game only second to Counter-Strike. It considered one of the most ambitious mods ever, pushing the goldSource engine to its limits in implementing its FPS/RTS blend of gameplay. Sufficient to say, it is insanely awesome.
Two teams compete to wipe the other out, the two being the Trans-System Authority (TSA) and the Khaara (commonly known as aliens). The two sides have completely different styles of play. The one similarity between the two sides is the capturing of Resource Nodes, which with the aid of a Resource Tower will funnel resources to the team.
The TSA Marines are lead by a single person who assumed the position of Commander who controls the TSA resources. Playing the game from a bird-eyeâ€™s perspective as RTS games are wont to do, he or she govern the marineâ€™s strategy, place down structures to be built, research upgrades and finally, hand out equipment. Yes, unless the commander hands you a shotgun â€“ you canâ€™t have one.
The Aliens have a much more independent playing style, where each individual got a share of the resource stream. In addition, instead of depending on equipment, players got the ability to evolve into various classes with each one having a specific role. The aliens required as much teamwork as the marines to be successful and communication was key. Gorges (builders) were responsible to expand the infrastructure, which meant the individual loses the opportunity to get access to the more expensive classes to benefit the entire team.
There is a [Game On] going on right now, you can go to that thread
for more information about NS1 and an opportunity to play with some fine gentlemen.
What is Natural Selection 2?
NS2 is the stand-alone sequel to the popular modification which garnered more than 2 million downloads. However, unlike its predecessor it wonâ€™t be free. Unknown worlds a company made up of 5 developers and with a recent addition of a dozen or so interns are the minds behind this project. NS2 is designed to be a lot more accessible and modern, which is a welcome relief because the original had intricacy of a maze filled with rubrics cubes. They also said they are going to put depth before accessibilityâ€¦ but itâ€™s hard to tell anything right now because know very, very little.
What we know can be summarized as not much. We know it is based off NS1 and over the couple of years; there is a gaunt list of information pruned from the developers. There is also a minute long teaser that was release recently. That isnâ€™t much, but the pedigree of NS1 is extraordinary. Unknown Worlds is taking pre-orders for two versions of the game, the Standard Edition for 19.95 (game + beta access) and the Special Edition (game + beta and alpha access + special cosmetic black armor) for 39.95. So once the game comes out, the special edition amounts to paying twice as much for the game for the equivalent of horse armor. And you know what? 98% (as of May 30th, 2009) of all pre-orders were for the Special Edition.
Okay, my interest is piqued. What else do I need to know?
Most people should be able to play NS2. The requirements are not very steep: 1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, a DirectX 9 level graphics card, Windows Vista/2000/XP, mouse, keyboard and an internet connection. If you donâ€™t have a Windows computer, the developers want to (funds permitting) to release Mac and Linux versions of the game. You can use one CD Key for any versions, but you may be logged on at only one particular computer at a single time.
The preordering the game gives you a stand-alone executable version of the game that will probably (highly unlikely it wouldnâ€™t be) will be steam compatible. You can buy the game from steam at a later time when the game is closer to completion. So what are you waiting for? Buy now!
(Developer Blog, has juicy information)
(Development update tracker)